Summary: How Zacchaeus’ life was changed by coming face to face with Jesus
Out on a Limb
Series: face to Face
Sunday Sermon, July 1st 2007
Jesus was on His way to that Cross when He passed through a very famous town named Jericho.
Like a Rose day parade to witness Jesus passing by, hundreds or even thousands of people lined the street that day. They all saw Jesus with their own eyes, but only one man came “face to Face” with Jesus.
His life was never the same again.
This man’s name was Zacchaeus. And he reached out to Jesus by literally "going out on as limb" for Him.
Text: Luke 19:1-10 “He entered Jericho and was passing through. 2And there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. 3And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small of stature. 4So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. 5And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today." 6So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. 7And when they saw it, they all grumbled, "He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner." 8And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, "Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold." 9And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham.
I can still remember the little song we learned written by Elsie Leslie. If you know it, sing it along with me, and do the motions:
Zacchaeus was a wee little man,
A wee little man was he,
He climbed up in a sycamore tree
For the Lord he wanted to see;
And as the Savior passed that way,
He looked up in the tree,
And He said, “Zacchaeus, you come down,
For I’m going to your house today,
For I’m going to your house today.
Unlike the others we have looked, and even most of the people we can read about in the Gospels, this man had no obvious needs:
• No physical ailments, wasn’t suffering etc.
• Lots of friends
Yet something was missing in this “wee” little man. Zacchaeus’s need was in his heart
Even though Zacchaeus was living in-line with the rest of his peers, he knew something was missing from his life. He listened to his heart.
How many people today ignore the inner heart?
We ignore our hearts cry to our own harm.
Rather, we should listen to the “still small voice” as God’s Spirit lead in Truth concerning the condition of our hearts.
I. Put yourself in position to see Jesus
“…he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small of stature. 4So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way.”
a. You take the first step
i. Don’t put the burden of proof on someone else.
ii. Don’t put the burden of proof even on God.
iii. No one is able to “show” you Jesus.
iv. Vision of Him is sought through personal hunger and pursuit. You may see Christ-like character in His followers, yet that must remain insufficient. Go after the real thing Him.
v. If you want to see Jesus, come “face to Face” with God you move into position, you show hunger, desperation. And don’t stop. Don’t stop after even just a glimpse! Don’t be distracted.
b. Don’t let anything stand in your way.
i. Zach found a way around his short-comings. (Pun intended.)
Grown men don’t climb trees (Unless they are from Pennsylvania – “you know you’re a red neck…”)
ii. Don’t say, “If God wants me to ____ then He’s gonna have to ____”
iii. Zacchaeus could have stayed home and said, “If Jesus want’s to save me, He knows were to find me.”
When you get off your high horse and you notice it was a hobby horse all along.
“Little-dog disease” Have you ever notice how absolutely vicious a little dog can be? They aren’t afraid of anything but they always have something to prove.
iv. Zach was past that, he had the power, he had the wealth, he lived in the most luxurious town etc.
v. He does something that just invited others to laugh at him. He accentuates his weakness just to see Jesus, and it actually got Jesus attention.